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Chairlift rides from hell? - Page 3

post #61 of 69

Jiminy Peak 1978.... competing in a USSA freestyle event when one of the chairs failed.  Rocketed backwards for what seemed like minutes...hurling chairs and people around the base bullwheel. Many fatals, but definately my "most scary" daon a lift.

post #62 of 69
This is a 'controlled' rollback incident to put JumpinJohn's 'most scary' day in perspective.
post #63 of 69

My worst experience was on the T-Bar at Breck a few years ago.  I was in a group of three friends and this time up the hill it was my turn to be paired up with a stranger.  The ride up was nice and filled with pleasant conversation but suddenly in mid-sentence, my partner fell and disappeared.  This caused me to fall but I hung up to the bar so it was dragging me.  I was initially concerned that my friends who were ahead of me wouldn't be able to find me so I hung on a bit getting dragged up.  I quickly realized that was a fools errand and ditched to the right.  Thankfully my friends wised up and skied down near the T-Bar and found me.

post #64 of 69
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

This is a 'controlled' rollback incident to put JumpinJohn's 'most scary' day in perspective.


Yikes!  What would be an "uncontrolled" rollback???


Has anyone ever had to be roped down from a lift?

Last year, our Chair-6 stopped and wouldn't go again, so our Ski Patrol had to rope everyone down.  It's just shy of 2,000 vertical feet, and it took well over 3 hours to get everybody.  I was at the hill that day but thankfully not on the lift, as it was snowing, cold, and windy.  It was quite miserable apparently.  Yuck!

post #65 of 69
OK, I'll bite
Personal - chair at a hill in Maine had thin wooden slats that formed the seat. I was wearing a jacket with a toggle at the waist. At some point during the ride the toggle slipped between two slats. I got up to de-chair, but my jacket was still "connected" and when the chair swung around the wheel to head back down I got yanked off my feet and right over the trip bar. Got thrown like a rag doll on skis into the wall of a nearby lift shack and crumpled into a heap. Apparently the sound of my body colliding with the wall attracted the attention of the lift attendant who hit the switch. I skied off, but should not have. Sore back off and on since that one 34 years ago.

Professional - at another local hill in Maine the owner was notorious for ignoring proper maintenance. Two fellows were on their way up the chair when the cable jumped the rollers causing the chair arm clamp to strike the tower arm. That force loosened the cable from the clamp sending the chair hurtling down the cable. When that chair struck the chair behind it, it fell off the cable about 20‘ to the ground. For reasons still not clear to me the lifties did not detect the event. My client and his companion lay in a heap in the snow for 20 to 25 minutes before help in the form of two snow machines arrived. But that is when the real fun began.
One guy parked his sled in such a fashion that when the brake gave way (again for reasons unclear) it careened into the woods. So they loaded my client onto the back of the second sled. Not a toboggan, but on the seat of the snow sled. He told me the ride down the hill on the back of that machine was more terrifying than the ride backwards down the cable and free fall to the ground.
Ultimately, his physical injuries were remarkably modest, though the experience scared the crap out of him. I heard that the folks in the chair behind them, the one they hit, got the worst of it. Can you imagine the sinking feeling of seeing a chair hurdling towards you and knowing the is not a damn thing you can do about it.
That was the easiest case I ever resolved. And the state came in and shut the lift down - permanently.

To a liftie- same hill. Different lift. I was waiting in the lift line, right by the sign that reads, "Do not load lift if attendant not present." For real. Anyways, I am on deck, looking in the other direction when I hear the liftie yelp. I immediately look back at him and hear him say, whilst rubbing his head, and in that classic deep woods Maine way, "Damn, that chair just got me in the head. That'll get your attention." Got mine.
I just love that hill....
PS: These stories are coming to you from room 218 of the Fairfield Inn somewhere near JFK. Ms.D1 and I missed our connecting flight to SLC last night because of a blizzard in Maine. Bummer. Man plans. God laughs. Out tonight. Just hanging on epic in the meantime. Could be worse.:-)
post #66 of 69
Originally Posted by nathanvg View Post


This is a cool story.  Not to get to far off topic, but when did Vail change Mongolia from a T to a platter (single person).  I've skied Vail quite a bit since the late 80's and don't recall a T (but I'm not sure what year I first skied Mongolia, maybe mid ninety’s)

I wonder if I am remebering correctly... Anyway this would have been ~1990.

I was also in Vail the day the new area opened up. It was a crazy day, I was skiing with my girlfriend at the time and we queued up about 50 or some people back from the front. It was a mad house when they lifted the lines so we could ski down to the new lift. I would not have wanted to be ski patrol that day. It was a cool time to be skiing in Vail. I miss that place, haven't been back in a long time.

post #67 of 69
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

This is a 'controlled' rollback incident to put JumpinJohn's 'most scary' day in perspective.

That is exactly what that was like...
post #68 of 69

It's not my story, but this has to be ultimate "Chairlift Ride from Hell".


post #69 of 69

Mike....that is exactly what it was like.   Scary as shit.

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